I have this nagging question that pops up when I am not paying attention--Am I doing enough? I am not sure who I am asking it of but if I am not careful I will start looking for answers from the people around me. I suspect that I am not alone in this. I don't think it matters if you are single, married, working, at home, with kids, without kids. Somehow we measure ourselves and our worth by what we are doing, or what our kids are doing, or our employees, or bank account etc... If I get more done on my to do list, or if I have "accomplished" a lot during the day it is a good day. If it is 11am and I can't figure out where the time has gone all of a sudden I am in an internal tizzy.
I don't really have the same standards for anyone else. I actually feel more at home in houses that aren't immaculate. I have friends who have kids and stay at home. I have friends who work full time without and with kids and I have friends who work and have kids at home. I'm more inclined to think that you are doing enough and that you are doing more than me or if not more then at least your work is more significant than mine. The problem with this line of thought is that I am once again comparing myself to you. Comparison makes me less and you less. It doesn't help either of us. Frankly it just needs to stop.
So if I am not comparing myself to you, how do I determine if I am doing enough? I don't think I do determine it because it is the wrong question. There is no way to answer it well. Why does my existence depend on how much or how many (friends, money, degrees, awards, championships, muscles you name it.) Instead of how much I think it is more about being faithful. Am I being faithful with what I have been given? Faithfulness might be more or less productive depending on the day or the season. It might mean snuggling with a sick child, preparing an elaborate meal, stopping for a cup of tea with a neighbor or working a long day. Once again knowing your center, knowing your season and knowing yourself helps to determine what faithfulness looks like and I can guarantee it is different for you as it is for me! So rather than "Am I doing enough," I am trying to ask "Am I being faithful." And if the answer to the second question is yes, then there is peace. If the answer is no--then I'm trying to have the courage to be honest with myself and others about where things need to change so that I am being faithful to what I have been given in this stage of life. But to be honest...I'm not quite sure yet if I am being faithful or not so I'll get back to you on that one!
Ali Millikan, Author
I love Father, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. I love my husband and kids. I believe that God is in the room with us; that hearing God's voice is for everyone and that it will change your day to day reality.